Who’s afraid of the dark? The once popular Snick TV show telling scary nighttime tales has become more of a reality for Cal Poly students who have to venture through the dark streets in and around campus after the sun goes down.
The lack of lighting on campus and in San Luis Obispo is a safety concern that has gone unaddressed for too long. Classes scheduled until 10 p.m., club meetings and late night library sessions combined with a bus system that stops running at 8:30 p.m. leaves hundreds if not thousands of students living off campus with no choice but to walk or bike after dark, often alone.
San Luis Obispo is a safe community to be sure, but that doesn’t mean that crime is nonexistent. The University Police Department’s campus crime statistics reported that 23 crimes took place on campus last year and an additional four took place nearby.
A list of safety guidelines that can be found at police.calpoly.edu lists “stay on populated, well-lit streets” as its third recommendation to increased safety on the street. But following those wise words is nearly impossible when every route home is dark and deserted.
Take the student housing in and around Foothill Boulevard for example. The most frequented path from campus is to walk past the Health Center and down the hill towards California Boulevard. However, there is only one streetlight along the way. As one of the most frequented routes, one would think that officials would have installed better lighting by now.
Thousands of students live within a mile of campus, most in that area, yet their well-being is ignored by the city and school.
In the meantime, if there is no choice but to walk home after dark, try to walk with friends and stay alert to your surroundings.
We encourage city and university officials to consider installing better lighting in and around campus for the safety of Cal Poly’s students.
Staff editorials reflect the opinion of the Mustang Daily.